Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 5 - waterfalls

We started a little different today, but that's okay.  I just didn't think I could get them intrigued by the Circle Time song today but I thought Lachlan would like the topic so I jumped right in.  I also had a morning telephone meeting with an amazing women at 10am and wanted to get into the school topic for the day before then.

So I started the day by saying "hmm, I wonder what we are going to learn about today?" I pulled out the day bag, "waterfalls!" I exclaimed and showed him the picture.  At the time I couldn't recall if Lachlan had ever seen a waterfall so I told him to wait a sec and I would find a video of a waterfall.  YouTube does have everything you could ever dream of on there.  So I went to YouTube and pulled up a video of a waterfall.  I sat him on my lap and as we watched the waterfall video asked him the Question of the Day. Why do you think water falls down a waterfall? "Crack" he said.  What? I couldn't quite understand what he had said.  "Crack" he said again.  It finally sunk in and I said, you know, you are right.  There is a crack in the earth and I pointed to edge of the waterfall where the water was flowing over. 

I love this scenario for multiple reasons.  Lachlan is very visual, so the video was a great for him.  Also, I love his answer! It may not be the best technical answer to the question, BUT, it's in his language.  This term he used to describe it is how HE understands it.  So I hung on to that word through out the day as we were talking about waterfalls to reuse for his understanding.

We did the Opening Rhyme and dropped our numbers over the edge of the waterfall.  A few of the numbers her new right away, 1 and 2.  0 and 9 he had a tougher time on.  My friend Amber taught me how to do a 3 part presentation of something new.  I hope I am getting this right but I showed him the number and said this is the number 0, can you say zero? (part 1) Next, I showed him the number and said "what number is this?" (part 2) Lastly, I laid the number 0 back down with the rest of them and asked him to point or pick up the number 0. (part3)  It's just a more in depth way of presenting them something new, and I love the idea. (It does seem I got the 3 part presentation a little off, see comments for correct order.  Also, check out this link for more info.)

We had a big break in the day as we went out to celebrate some good news for our family.  We went to the local airport cafe and watched a few planes fly in as we munched on pancakes, chicken strips, fries and a yummy hamburger for Mom.  When we got back it was nap time, so we didn't get back to our lessons until 6:30 at night.  My husband had just come home from work and got to be a part of it all, which was nice.  Who says kids have to stop learning after 3?

I got out scissors and the paper that came for the Noisy Waterfall project.  Peter had actually done his earlier with me at the counter when his brother was still napping.  Peter had done mostly fringe cutting along the edges of his paper.  I let him cut away at his a little more but I think his favorite part was the glue stick when we glued the animals to our waterfall.  Lachlan wanted to sit on the kitchen floor to cut his paper.  At first I didn't want to let him because we have a rule about cutting up at the counter and the scissors can't come down.  I don't want them to run or fight over the scissors so if they stay up at the work space, there is less risk of that.  But I thought I would give it a try and sit right there with them.  I am so glad I did because for some reason it was a great position for him.  He rested the underside of the scissors on the ground as he cut and followed the lines beautifully.  Even holding it in his lap worked really well. He did a great job cutting and has developed a long ways past the fringe cutting that was all he used to be able to do.

Peter's favorite part - glue stick.
I got the cap on!
Sitting on the ground to cut.
Underside of scissors resting on the ground as he cuts.
Check out that straight line.
Had to go back and straighten this one out.

Peter's fringe cutting.

Gluing.  The sun was starting to set and the light was getting bright.
The Big and Little Waterfalls activity and In the Water puzzle inadvertently became one activity.  I had set up the shredded paper in a basket with the puzzle in the bottom and Lachlan discovered it when I was showing him how to shake the towels like waterfalls.  He asked me "what's this?"  When I told there was a puzzle in the bottom he had to reach through the paper like reaching through a waterfall to find the pieces at the bottom he walked over and put it behind the big towel I was using for the big waterfall.  So he reached through the waterfall to get to the basket.
 When we were done putting together the puzzle we put the Hands-On letters in the basket and pulled them out one by one.  Is this a big or a little letter? He did really well knowing the first 2 and then got stumped.  So I referred him to our alphabet display which we were standing right next to.  I told him to try to find the letter on the display, gave him a hint of the sound it made /a/ /a/ apple or /a/ /a/ alligator.  When he found it, I asked him again, is this a big or a little letter?  He very quickly and easily exclaimed "little!"
Next Peter wanted to give this activity a try.  I thought, sure, this is too advanced for him but we will give it a go.  Shame, shame, shame on me.  Boy was I wrong.  First two Peter got right, but they were big letters and Lachlan already had the big waterfall in his hands so he was just going with it, right?  Nope, because letter #3 that he pulled out was a little letter.  So I asked is this a big or little letter?  "Little!" he exclaims.  My jaw literally dropped as I turned and looked at Jeff.  "You're right! Good job Peter."  So he takes the little letter over and points to the little N.  The letter he had drawn out of the basket was actually a lowercase U but when turned around the other way it looks just like a lowercase N.  So he was spot on.  I showed him how they looked the same as I took the Hands-On letter and turned it and held it up to each of the letters, lowercase N and U.  Grandpa Allan always says "don't underestimate Peter."  No kidding!  I learned my lesson.
Not sure if this was a big or little letter we turned to the alphabet display to see if we could figure it out.  Here he is starting his search for D.
He placed his Hands-On D on the corner here of the display, I told him No the D's not there.  Again he proved me wrong.
He lifts up the Hands-On D and puts his little finger right on the letter D that is written out for the ABC song in the corner of the display.  Smart, smart little boy.  Mom was wrong again.
Next Lachlan helped teach Peter by showing him where the other D is on the display.
The last lesson, Down the Waterfall, we didn't quite accomplish.  I have it at the top of the learning tower, on the counter, just in case they climb up or there happens to be an opportunity to coax them up there to draw their diamond shaped kayak. If not tonight maybe in the morning.

At the end of the day Lachlan grabbed a washcloth I had on the counter as I was folding laundry.  "It's the color of a waterfall!" he said.


  1. Love this Tracy, sounds like you guys are having fun! The three part lesson is that, but the last two parts are switched. So first present the phrase/word/object, "this is a waterfall". Second part ask them to point to a object from an assortment "which one is the waterfall?". Third ask them to tell you what it is, "what is this called?". Most of the time this is not done all in one sitting, so you can be sure he concepts are being absorbed.

    1. Thank you Amber. I posted a note for people to check the comments for the correct order. I really love this concept and need to keep practicing.